- Study at Deakin
- Campus life
- Industry and community
- About Deakin
Listening is something we do all day every day, but how well do we really do it? Conflict, interpersonal problems, frustration, oblivion, missed opportunities and anger can all occur when we don't listen actively. When we do, there is a sense of harmony, a feeling of acceptance and being understood, transference of knowledge and ideas, an ability to maximise opportunities and honesty.
Active listening doesn't just happen; it is something we need to work on. How many times in a conversation, lecture (a method of instruction where students learn from a faculty member's presentation of a subject) or tutorial (smaller and more interactive than a lecture with discussion about the lectures and assignments and chance to ask questions) do you find you are:
If you are doing any or all of these then you are not practicing active listening and are running the risk of missing the key point, being in a different conversation altogether and/or losing that person's respect. (Have you ever thought to yourself - boy, is he dumb, he has no idea what I am talking about? You could be him!)
There are a number of elements to communication and each impacts on how we listen. In general we communicate with:
Most of us take in information best through our eyes. In fact 85% of everything that gets into our brain enters through the eyes.
"Why do you always walk around with a pad and pencil, Uncle Albert?"
"So I can see what I am thinking." - Albert Einstein
In active listening, being aware of what you are seeing and feeling as well as hearing is important.
Active listening can be achieved! Some tips to help you are:
Active listening allows you to show that you respect the other person's point of view and are prepared to listen to it and make sure you understand it. It does not mean that you agree or disagree with everything they have said; it means that you have listened and heard them.
Make an appointment with a counsellor